DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend "Chucky" and I have been together for a while and things are starting to get serious. I'm 15 and he's almost 18.
I'm falling in love with him, which has never happened with any other guy. I really think he's "The One." Chucky proposed, but it isn't official yet. I still have no ring, but I'm thinking of accepting. Now he says he wants a baby.
I'm too young to be having a baby, but he says he'll take care of me if it happens. I trust him, but I don't know what to believe. A part of me says he'll stay with me, the other part says he'll get scared and leave. What if something goes wrong and I get pregnant by accident? I'm so confused. Can you please help me? -- CHUCKY'S GIRL IN VICTORVILLE, CALIF.
DEAR CHUCKY'S GIRL: At "almost 18" Chucky is not yet self-supporting, let alone in a position to support a child -- and at 15, neither are you. Chucky may want a baby to prove to himself that he's a man, but a real man wouldn't put a woman he loves in a vulnerable position -- and motherhood at 16 is exactly that.
Did you know that when young men reach the age of 18 they are considered adults? Adult males who have sex with underage girls can find themselves in jail for it. If you don't have sex with Chucky, there will be no "accidents."
It's hard to think clearly when you think you're falling in love, but I'm asking you to make a superhuman effort. I can't stress strongly enough how important it is that you finish high school, so that when you do become a mother you'll be able to support yourself and your child if you need to. Many women do. They also sometimes have to support a husband who can't find work.
Before things go any further, please find an adult woman you can confide in. She'll set you straight!
DEAR ABBY: A friend of mine, "Barbie," volunteered to be the maid of honor in my wedding. She didn't attend any of the dress fittings because she doesn't have a car. She volunteered to throw a bridal shower despite having no money, and asked my fiance to contribute. After he told Barbie he was "tapped out" (because of the wedding bills), she suggested he return some of the gifts he had bought me!
Two days before the shower, I learned she had selected a dress more suited to a stripper pole than a church wedding ceremony. At that point, my fiance decided to remove her from the bridal party.
Barbie feels slighted and doesn't understand why we made the day about "us" and not her. She's genuinely hurt that we didn't "consider her financial position." (We didn't ask for her help in the first place.)
Would you please lend your vast wisdom and insight to this matter? -- DENIAL IS NOT A RIVER IN EGYPT
DEAR DENIAL: When Barbie volunteered to be your maid of honor, knowing her financial situation you should have politely told her no. Because you didn't, you should have made sure she understood the financial responsibilities that went with being in the wedding. And since she had no transportation, someone should have offered her a ride to the dress fitting, which would have enabled you to see her dress selection.
That said, your friend was pushy to ask to be in the wedding in the first place, gutsy to expect your fiance to return your gifts to help her pay for the shower and clueless about wedding etiquette. Make a pact to forgive her if she'll forgive you, and all of you should go on with your lives. I predict it will be in opposite directions.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)